Question 1: How much do you want your letting agent to do?
Finding tenants only service: These agents will help you find tenants for your property. They will market the property, show prospective tenants through, check references and write tenancy agreements. They may collect the first month’s rent and deposit.
Finding tenants and rent collection service: These agents offer the same tenant-finding services as the above, and they will also collect the ongoing rental payments and deposit it into your nominated bank.
Full management service: Full management offers a full range of services, which may include finding tenants, preparing the tenancy agreement, collecting rent, managing the day-to-day running of the property, chasing missing rental payments, undertaking repairs and maintenance, solving disputes with tenants, undertaking inventories, doing gas safety checks and even doing emergency repairs.
If you are looking for a full management letting agent, make sure you find out exactly what their service includes and excludes.
Question 2: What letting fees do landlords need to pay?
The letting fees landlords need to pay depend on the level of service.
Finding tenants only service: The fees for this service is either charged as a flat rate (for example, equal to one months rent) or a percentage of the tenancy contract (for example, 5-8% of the annual rent).
Finding tenants and rent collection service: This service will generally cost between 8-13% of the monthly rent collected.
Full management: This service will typically cost between 10-16% of the monthly rent. These fees will be more for HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) properties.
Question 3: What letting fees do tenants need to pay?
Tenants will need to pay letting agent fees for the following items:
- Inventory fee
- Tenancy reference
- Agreement fee
- Tenancy renewal fee
- Administration fee
You will need to check with individual letting agents to see how much they charge, as these fees vary widely between letting agents.
Question 4: How will they advertise your property?
Before you choose a letting agent, find out where and how they will market your property.
Find out if they will do the following:
- advertise on online rental sites only (including Zoopla, Rightmove, etc) or will they also advertise on their website and social sites.
- advertise in offline publications (major newspapers, local papers, etc) as well as use prominent property signage.
- use professional photos for the listings.
- have open for inspections and how often they will be held.
- Use their own waiting list of tenants from their database (if they have a database).
Question 5: Are they landlords themselves?
Find out if the letting agent team are landlords themselves. Are they also passionate about property? This is especially useful as they will understand what is important to you, as a landlord.
Question 6: Should you choose a national or local agency?
Both national and local agencies have positives and negatives.
A local agency will know the area, the local rental market, the ideal tenants and can also attend to your property fast, if there is any emergency.
A large, national agency may have more marketing opportunities, as they can advertise on their own websites around the United Kingdom. National agents may also be beneficial if you have multiple properties throughout the United Kingdom.
Question 7: Do they specialise in any type of property?
If you have an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) property, then you may want to consider a letting agent that specialises in these types of properties. On top of the full management services, this may also include short stay lets services, fire alarm and emergency lighting testing, weekly communal cleaning services, waste refuse management, pest control services and staying up to date on local guideline regulation updates to ensure your HMO certification is current.
The final step to finding the right letting agent
If you decide to find an agent, make sure you find someone reputable that you can talk to. You want to build a strong working relationship with them and make sure they can help look after your tenants and your investment.
At REKA Property Management, we offer our clients a full property management service with exceptionally low fees. We can do this because we are a web-based agency and have fewer management layers and less overhead costs.
And we don’t charge any agency fees or contract renewal fees for tenants, so we can attract high-quality tenants for our clients.
If you want to know how to achieve solid rental returns and have peace of mind with your property, then call us on +44 (0) 203 286 6468 or email us at Admin@RekaProperty.co.uk